Fort Rinella is considered to be Malta’s liveliest museum where history comes to life. Built by the British between 1878 and 1886 in Kalkara, the Fort overlooks the spectacular Grand Harbour.
The Fort was the world’s first mechanical fort and was designed to engage enemy warships from a distance of around 7,000 yards. Its’ small garrison hosted a 100-ton gun built by Sir William George Armstrong of Newcastle in 1878 and able to fire every six minutes using steam driven hydraulics which allowed the gun to traverse and depress its ammunition and hoist and load mechanically. This 100-ton gun enabled the British to secure Malta and Gibraltar against potential Italian Seaborne attacks. The only other defenses were ditches, caponiers and firing points intended mostly to fire small arms and grenades.
When this gun was retired from service, Fort Rinella was used as an observation post for the guns of Fort Ricasoli. Unfortunately, when the steam engine and hydraulic system became obsolete they were removed from the location. During the second world war, the British Royal Navy used the Fort to store their supplies and the building blended into the fields since it was covered in moss and grass, making it difficult to be viewed by planes.
The British Navy handed over Fort Rinella to the Maltese Government in 1956. Recently, Fort Rinella has undergone major restoration and improvement works made and today hosts many visitors from around the globe who are able to participate in guided tours, view re-enactments and a twenty minute audio visual outlining the history of the fort and its gun. The Fort is open to the public throughout the year, from Tuesday to Sunday at 14.30hrs sharp. It is brought back to life with late 19th century Victorian soldiers who will take visitors on an animated tour around the fort. This tour combines excellent guiding with live and colourful historical re-enactments including firing of rifles, bayonet practice and military cooking. Original period equipment and weapons are used throughout the tour to re-create a typical day in the history of this fort, making the visit a most memorable and enjoyable experience.
Tuesday – Sunday: 10.00am – 17.00pm (Guided tours on the hour; Animated tour starting at 14.30pm daily)
- PricesAdults: €10
- Pensioners/students: €8
- Children (under 16yrs): €5
- Multisite ticket including Saluting Battery, Lascaris War Rooms and the Malta at War Museum: €25 adults, €22 pens/stud, €55 group (2 adults and up to 3 children)